Reading and Math Test Scores Remain Stagnant Despite Common Core

Despite numerous monumental government efforts to improve standardized testing scores around the country, the average test scores for reading and math have remained virtually the same as they were ten years ago, according to USA Today.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress’s analysis of math and reading scores in the fourth and eighth grade show little progress since standardized testing on the subjects first began in the 1990s, according to the report.

In 2019, only 35 percent of fourth-graders scored as proficient in reading; in 2009, that number was 33 percent. In eighth grade, the scores for 2019 were 34 percent proficiency, compared to just 32 percent in 2009. Both scores were slightly higher in 2017, with fourth-graders scoring at 37 percent and eighth-graders scoring at 36 percent.

In math, fourth-graders scored at 41 percent proficiency while eighth-graders scored 34 percent. While this isn’t much of a change from 2017 numbers, this does mark a significant improvement since 1990, where the fourth-grade score was just 14 percent, and the eighth-grade score was only 15 percent.

The report highlights the few areas and demographics to see improvements in their short-term scores: Washington, D.C. and Mississippi were the only two areas to see improvement in their fourth-grade reading scores since 2017, while the city of Detroit saw higher scores in fourth-grade math. The most improved demographics in fourth-grade math since 2017 were “Boys, Hispanic students, and English language learners.”